Report: Lakers “explored” trade for Eric Bledsoe before Schroder deal

Eric Bledsoe
Eric Bledsoe shoots over Kyle Kuzma (Jeff Hanisch/USA TODAY Sports)

The Los Angeles Lakers started the NBA transaction window with a bang on Sunday, reportedly trading shooting guard Danny Green and the 28th overall pick in the 2020 NBA Draft for Oklahoma City Thunder point guard and sixth man of the year candidate Dennis Schroder. It turns out Schroder was not the only point guard the team had their eyes on; according to Sports Illustrated’s Chris Mannix, the team also explored the possibility of trading for Milwaukee Bucks guard Eric Bledsoe, notably a friend of LeBron James, before finalizing the move for Schroder. This seems like more evidence that the Lakers are reacting to likely losing Rajon Rondo this offseason.

Bledsoe is a more defensive-minded guard than Schroder by a mile but offensively, he can be limited. He’s also been at least partially blamed for the Bucks’ collapses in the postseason the last two years. This season, in nine playoff games, Bledsoe averaged 11.7 points and 5.9 assists per game while shooting just 38.8 percent from the field and 25 percent from behind the arc. Schroder, meanwhile, had a fluctuating seven-game series against the Rockets but averaged over 17 points a game, albeit on pretty poor shooting numbers.

According to The Ringer’s Kevin O’Connor, the Bucks also tried to move Bledsoe to get Schroder so this was just an awkward love triangle between the three teams and guards.

Neither Schroder or Bledsoe are world beaters by any means and there’s a risk to moving a valuable 3-and-D player in Green to acquire them but that risk is slightly mitigated by not giving him to a team the Lakers may face in the Finals. We’ll have to wait and see if it was the right decision, however.

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